Refresh Checked Unchecked Menu Search Shopping bag Geolocation Person Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Info Icon CBC Icon CBC Shape CBD Icon CBD Shape CBG Icon CBG Shape THC Icon THC Shape THCV Icon THCV Shape
Advertise on Leafly

Health Canada Considering Categorizing CBD as Natural Health Product

June 21, 2019
Jesse Milns/Leafly
When a Health Canada representative told a media call last week the agency had “committed to conducting further consultations on the precise question of CBD as a Natural Health Product (NHP),” some expressed pessimism such consultations would arrive quickly. There were no timelines in last week’s new regulations on a move for which CBD producers have been calling for months.

Join the Leafly Canada Community

NEWS, EVENTS, PRODUCT REVIEWS, AND MORE!

Few expected they would see news that consultations had opened within a week of that call, but on Wednesday Health Canada opened its “Consultation on Potential Market for Cannabis Health Products that would not Require Practitioner Oversight,” an online process that will be open to all Canadians who wish to comment until September 3.

Instead of giving CBD products NHP designation, what Health Canada proposes is a new designation, that of Cannabis Health Products (CHP). This system of classification would not go into effect earlier than 2020, but would create a class of less-regulated, non-intoxicating cannabis products that could be sold over the counter in such retail locations as pharmacies, pet stores, and health-food stores.

Cannabis Health Products would be classified as part of the Food and Drugs Act rather than the Cannabis Act, which would allow producers to make certain health claims (provided they are evidence-based) about the products.

Producers may not make general health claims, but provided they can connect specific evidence to a particular cannabinoid, they can make claims supported by research. Cannabis must also be listed as the active ingredient. However, because CHPs will designate only non-intoxicating cannabinoids, youths will be allowed to purchase them so long as they are overseen “by a responsible adult intermediary.”

With this switch, oversight of CHP would shift from federal to provincial, allowing provinces to restrict or allow retail sales of products at their discretion.

Jesse B. Staniforth's Bio Image

Jesse B. Staniforth

Jesse B. Staniforth is the editor of the free cannabis-industry
newsletter WeedWeek Canada. He also reports on Indigenous issues,
cybersecurity, and food safety.

View Jesse B. Staniforth's articles

  • david dib

    Potentially classifiying Cannabis as a part of the Food and Drugs Act is a step in the right direction. Way to go Canada! Thanks for the article.

  • April Reeves

    Hmmnn….. slipping CBD oil over to chemical drug classification (as all NHP’s are sadly moving to)… I don’t trust Health Canada for a second. Just watch, all the great small manufacturers who’ve stuck their necks out will be subject to huge fees and fines only Big Pharma can take. They’ll go out of business and governments will grab the market and run with it. Or Pharma will. Not liking this move.